In accordance with guidelines set by the State Board of Education, five counties submitted letters last week requesting a waiver from their FY 2011 maintenance of effort requirements. Dorchester, Frederick, Montgomery, Talbot and Wicomico met the April 1 deadline for the Board to consider their requests. Unless the General Assembly acts on the maintenance of effort waiver legislation before the end of session on April 12, current statutory requirements for application to the State Board of Education for waiver consideration are in effect.
The guidelines for this year — far simpler than those in place for last year’s process — stipulated only that counties requesting a FY 2011 waiver of maintenance of effort (MOE) send a letter to the State Board by April 1, 2010 stating the amount of the requested waiver and the percentage of the total MOE amount the waiver request represents. MACo does not yet have detailed information on the amount of the waiver requests being sought.
Two bills, both “emergency legislation” with immediate effect upon being signed, would alter the MOE waive process, and are moving through the General Assembly. However, HB 304 goes further in its proposed changes than does its Senate counterpart, SB 310. MACo believes that the House approach is more valuable, but it still falls far short of MACo’s original suggestions.